Carrie Kahn

Tonally uneven film obscures provocative premise   

Social media obsessed Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) moves to L.A. with a plan to befriend her Instagram idol.

If you sometimes worry you may be checking your Facebook and Instagram feeds just a little too frequently, rest assured that you’ve got nothing on Ingrid Thorburn. As portrayed by an exceptional Audrey Plaza, the social media obsessed heroine of Ingrid Goes West becomes a poster child for smart phone restraint. Unfortunately, first time feature writer/director Matt Spicer and his co-writer David Branson Smith run into tone problems, turning what could have been a brilliant satire into something mildly amusing but ultimately unsatisfying, almost to the point of troubling.
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Let your honesty shine, shine, shine… Except when it doesn’t, like in this phony, affected picture   

Thomas (Callum Turner) confronts Johanna (Kate Beckinsale), his father’s mistress.

The word “serviceable’ gets bandied about quite a bit in director Marc Webb’s new film about a young writer, which is ironic, since The Only Living Boy in New York is anything but. In fact, serviceable is actually far too kind a word for this hackneyed, derivative embarrassment.
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Film Review: Brigsby Bear

by Carrie Kahn on August 4, 2017

Mooney’s funny and poignant film Bears witness to the restorative power of art 

James (Kyle Mooney) dons the costume of his idol, Brigsby Bear. 

If you watch Saturday Night Live regularly, you know that cast member Kyle Mooney seems like the kind of smart-but-nerdy guy who probably spent his middle school years making goofy action-figure based short films with his friends. Fast forward some 20 years later, and not much has changed, though the results are no doubt exceedingly more polished than his junior high efforts. Mooney, along with his 7th grade buddies Dave McCary and Kevin Costello, has made his first feature film, and, fittingly, Brigsby Bear is a charmer that celebrates the healing power of both art and family.
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The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, showcasing over 60 films from more than a dozen countries, opened on July 20th, and runs until next Sunday, August 6th. This year, the Festival boasts over 15 West Coast premiers, and more than 40% of its films are directed by women, including both its opening and closing night films. 

With a full week left to go, there is still plenty of time to catch some great new films. Below we spotlight four Fest titles (two documentaries and two features) that you may want to check out. Complete schedule, tickets, and more information are available here. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Detroit

by Carrie Kahn on July 28, 2017

Bigelow’s intense, harrowing film remains fiercely relevant

A city under siege: Detroit, July, 1967.

“It’s hard to believe this could happen in America,” a character says in Detroit, director Kathryn Bigelow’s grim but brilliantly effective new film about the 1967 Detroit riots and their aftermath. But for those of us watching exactly 50 years later, such believing is all too easy — and that’s perhaps the most disheartening take away from Bigelow’s gut-punch of a film.
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What’s done cannot be undone: And that’s the way she wants it

Katherine (Florence Pugh) is restless and bored as the much younger wife of a middle-aged man who shows no interest in her. 

If Lady Macbeth is remembered for anything after its initial release today, it will be for introducing the mostly unknown British actress Florence Pugh to the world. Just 19 years old when she made the film, Pugh, in the picture’s title role, is reminiscent of a young Kate Winslet, and, based on her work here, is bound to go on to an equally impressive and acclaimed career.
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Film Review: A Ghost Story

July 14, 2017
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Should the spirit move you to see this movie, ignore it  Boo! Sorry if I startled you, but such an opening seems appropriate for a review of A Ghost Story, writer/director David Lowery’s new film about, yes, a ghost – replete in Casper-esque white sheet with eyeholes and all. But this ghost isn’t exactly friendly; […]

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Film Review: The Beguiled

June 30, 2017
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Coppola returns to form with seductive Southern gothic drama  In its 70-year history, the Cannes Film Festival has only awarded its Best Director prize to a female director twice; the first was in 1961 (to Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva for Chronicle of Flaming Years, a tale of Nazi resistance in the Soviet Union), and the […]

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Film Review: 47 Meters Down

June 16, 2017
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Imperfect shark tale still has some bite   Spinning Platters recently hosted its first music trivia event at SOMA StrEat Food Park, but if you missed it, have no fear – others are on the horizon. And to (ahem) tide you over, here’s a brief little summer movie quiz: match the tagline with its corresponding shark […]

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Film Review: My Cousin Rachel

June 9, 2017
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Hitchcockian thriller will leave you guessing  If you find yourself left edgy and itchy when the film you’re watching doesn’t wrap up nice and neat and tidy, then you’d do well to avoid My Cousin Rachel, a period drama that raises more questions than it answers, and leaves its viewers in a state of ambiguity. […]

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